SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s signing of Chris Kirkland means that Dave Jones has hit one of his summer targets and it seems to leave a question mark against the future of Stephen Bywater.
The Owls manager wanted to land another keeper among his planned influx of players, with Richard O’Donnell released and Bywater and Arron Jameson out of contract.
Nicky Weaver, who ended the season as No 2 to Bywater, has been left as the club’s only senior under-contract keeper.
Although offers are being made to Bywater and Jameson there has been be no guarantee that they would stay. Kirkland, aged 31, is to sign a two-year contract as his deal with Wigan ends. It seems unlikely that he will be coming as a number two .
The former England keeper said: “This is a fantastic move for me and I am delighted to be here.
“There have been stories about injuries but I have been fully fit for the last two seasons at Wigan and really frustrated at being a number two. I’m chomping at the bit to start playing again, and to join a club like Sheffield Wednesday at this time is a great move, although there is great competition for places, which is great.
“Everybody saw what happened at Hillsborough on the last day of the season and to think that I will be part of that is really exciting.”
Kirkland cost £6m when Liverpool signed him from Coventry in 2001. He has had injury setbacks in his career, and a loan at Doncaster last autumn was cut short after he played only one game for the club - his only senior game of the season. But clearly he is now fully ready to make a fresh start. He joined Wigan in 2006.
Meanwhile, Wednesday are understood to be looking away from Danny Batth in a search for a centre half and to be unperturbed by his revelation that he wants to fight for a place at Wolves.
Batth, aged 21, was among several possible targets but it is likely that the Owls will have decided that experience is a priority element for their Championship back four.